How we lit up the sky in lockdown

Posted on November 18, 2020

With the latest lockdown reimposed on November 5th, fireworks organisers and fireworks company crews were left with little do on Bonfire Night, except in St Albans. We were proud to be part of the huge team effort that enabled the city’s annual display to go ahead.

Organised by St Albans Cathedral, the annual fireworks event usually attracts up to 20,000 people to Verulamium Park, but because of Covid restrictions it was reimagined this year as the ‘Look Up Together’ community display.

Four simultaneous displays took place from secret sites across the city, with a salvo of starbursts fired from the Cathedral’s 11th century Norman Tower to signal the start.

Thousands were able to watch safely from their doorsteps and back gardens while thousands more from around the world also watched the display live on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.

Following a successful Crowdfunding campaign, more than £40,000 was raised to put on the show, with at least £20,000 being donated to local charities.

Paul Dean, chairman of St Albans Cathedral fireworks committee told us: ‘Thank you for an excellent display and for all the hard work you put in to help us bring it off’.’

Jon Culverhouse, managing director of Fantastic Fireworks, who have been staging the St Albans fireworks for nearly 30 years, said: ‘Despite all the gloom of the lockdown we were thrilled not only to put on a fireworks display this weekend but one that sends out such a loud and clear message. The show goes on. Our teams loved getting out there and rocking it to the city’.

“The reaction to the display has been so enthusiastic that it may well set a precedent for the way future displays are staged, not just in St Albans but in other cities across the country.

“The opening salvo from the Bell Tower of the Cathedral which signalled the start of the display was the first time in its 1,000-year history that fireworks have ever been let off from its roof!’